Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

With Surging Cases, Public Coronavirus Returns To Big Bend

The National Guard conducting coronavirus testing at Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department in Midland County. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

By Public Radio Staff

As the state of Texas heads toward a possible third surge of coronavirus cases, the Big Bend region is seeing its own uptick. In the last week, cases have cropped up in Marfa, Alpine, Presidio and even in the small town of Valentine.

Now, for the second time this month, the state is planning to send staff to the Big Bend region to conduct free public testing. While testing for COVID-19 is available in the region—at area clinics and at Big Bend Regional Medical Center—resources are severely limited and local health officials have largely reserved testing for residents who are exhibiting symptoms or have had direct contact with a person diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Right now, it's unclear how the state will run the upcoming round of testing. Previously, screening for COVID-19 was conducted as a drive-thru where residents pulled up to a testing location to be screened while they remained seated in their vehicle. But during the last round of testing, state health officials asked residents to walk into a testing site where they would self-administer tests in a large group.

No matter the method though, the upcoming testing will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until supplies run out. The tests will be self-administered oral swabs. No appointment is necessary and individuals do not need to be exhibiting symptoms to be screened for COVID-19.

Testing is free and open to the public.

Testing locations:

Van Horn: Monday, Oct. 26

  • Culberson County-Allamore ISD auditorium, 801 Houston Street, 79855

City of Presidio: Tuesday, Oct. 27

  • City of Presidio EMS and Fire Station, 100 E. FM 170, 79845

Marfa: Wednesday, Oct. 28

  • Presidio County Courthouse, 300 North Highland Avenue, 79843

Alpine: Thursday, Oct. 29

  • North Brewster County Emergency Response Center, 102 South Second Street, 79843

Fort Davis: Friday, Oct. 30

  • Fort Davis Fire Station, 200 Court Ave,  79734

Editor's Note: The location of state testing in Marfa will be at the Presidio County Courthouse and not the USO Building, where early voting is happening this week.